Customer Experience and Omnichannel are Top Priorities for Banks in 2018

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Building stronger customer experiences and unifying their digital and traditional channels will be a top priority for bankers in 2018, according to Computer Services, Inc.’s annual Banking Priorities Executive Report.

Nearly half of the respondents (48 percent) plan to increase spending on customer experience initiatives in 2018, with the same percentage indicating that reaching new customers through omnichannel banking is their greatest opportunity for the year.

CSI, a provider of end-to-end financial technology solutions, surveyed more than 230 bankers nationwide for the annual report, which explores what bank executives perceive to be the issues, technologies and strategies that will most affect the financial industry in the year ahead.

While the regulatory climate and cybersecurity also registered highly as major issues facing bankers, the clear emphasis on customer experience and omnichannel initiatives this year is undeniable.

“Today, the main differentiator between financial institutions is the customer experience,” said Steve Powless, CSI’s chairman and CEO. “Banks must focus their attention not only on gaining new customers, but also on building loyalty among their existing ones. We’re seeing bankers tackle this by focusing on omnichannel strategies that streamline and connect the customer’s bank experience across all channels, from in-person interactions to mobile apps and online. Banks utilizing these strategies will likely see the most growth throughout 2018.”

Key survey highlights related to enhancing the customer experience and omnichannel strategies include:

  • When asked to name the areas in which they expect to increase spending in 2018, 48 percent of respondents noted customer experience initiatives, which trailed only cybersecurity risk (59 percent) and information technology (64 percent).
  • When asked which omnichannel strategies they consider the most important, 53 percent of respondents ranked implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution first.
  • 38 percent of bankers will improve the customer experience with digital enhancements, including branch transformation (39 percent), mobile banking adoption (35.3%) and mobile wallet/tokenization (23.9%)

While planning initiatives for the new year, financial institutions should focus on unique strategies for boosting profitability and growing business,” Powless said. “Using CSI’s Banking Priorities Executive Report 2018, banks can learn where their peers will place focus, and build their strategies around standing out from competitors.”

The executive report, containing full survey results and detailed analysis, is available online here.

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